DECLAN RICE SAID England had created a ‘piece of history’ after finally beating Germany at a major tournament for the first time since 1966.
England are celebrating a mammoth European Championship victory against Germany after goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane fired Gareth Southgate’s men into the quarter-finals.
“It’s history,” the midfielder told BBC Sport. “In the press conferences all week the players have been asked about the previous games against Germany and today we created our own piece of history.
“We’ve made the most of our opportunity today and it was a pleasure to be out on the pitch.”
Rice said England’s players had been aware of the criticism they had received during the competition.
“If you look at the group games, a lot of people had written us off, there had been complaints about the performances, not scoring enough goals,” he said.
“You read a load of things, but as players you put that to the back of your mind and you want to prove people wrong and I think today, with a full house – everybody had that fire in their bellies.”
Raheem Sterling described England’s win as ‘a special moment’ and said the focus was now on the quarter-final.
Sterling broke the deadlock for the Three Lions in the 75th minute and Harry Kane added a crucial second with four minutes remaining.
“We knew we need to put in a very good performance against a very good side and I thought we did that,” the Manchester City winger told BBC Sport.
“Doing it for your country is always special and it’s definitely a special moment. I wondered if it (my goal) was offside, but I was very happy it went in.
“We knew the intensity we can play at and not many teams can deal with it. The two boys in midfield, Declan (Rice) and (Kalvin) Phillips, they were class, they ate up ground. An all-round great team performance.
“We’ll take it game by game. We’ll see who we’re playing now. We’ll go away and recover and get focused on the next one.”
England will discover if they must face Sweden or Ukraine in the last eight after Tuesday’s second last-16 tie.
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